New Delhi: In a significant move aimed at improving the quality of education, the government has decided to make it mandatory for university teachers to have PhD degrees from 2021 onwards.
The decision to directly recruit PhD degree holders as assistant professors at the university level has been taken to match the global standard of education as the government 'believes' that there are better infrastructure facilities at universities in comparison to colleges at the district level or affiliated to state universities.
However, according to a senior HRD Ministry official, masters degree with National Eligibility Test (NET) or PhD would continue to be the minimum eligibility criteria for direct recruitment in colleges.
"The PhD degree will be mandatory for the promotion of teachers from assistant professor to associate professors even at college level, while a candidate with PhD degree won't need to clear NET to apply for faculty posts in colleges," the official said.
As per the existing practice, those who hold PhD degree or NET qualified with a masters degree are eligible to apply for the post of assistant professor, the entry-level position, in universities, which would not be possible post the implementation of new regulations to be effective from July 1, 2021.
Announcing the new regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "Academic Performance Indicators (API), which were resisted by many as research was made compulsory for college teachers, has been scrapped so that they could focus on teaching students. The whole effort is to improve quality of higher education and to attract and retain the best talent in the country."
Commenting on the decision, Abhash Kumar, assistant professor in Delhi University, said, "Instead of tweaking recruitment structures, the government should have focused on appointing permanent teachers as most of the top universities are heavily reliant on ad-hoc teachers."
"Given that there is no standardisation of PhD degrees in the country, the move would 'encourage' institutions to offer demand-based PhD degrees, which is now happening with BEd degrees," he said.